Name: Gabriella Emery
Graduate Program: Master of Public Health
Gabriella Emery is Kwakwaka’wakw from the ‘Namgis First Nation. Her interests lie in community driven initiatives in Indigenous health – specifically focusing on youth mental health and wellness. Gabriella began working in Indigenous health while she was completing her Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.
“I have always enjoyed being a student and after gaining work experience I really wanted to develop my knowledge and skills further!”
She continued to pursue her focus by working as a project coordinator at the Provincial Health Services Authority’s Aboriginal Health (PHSA)’s program, where she mentored a team of Indigenous women. Simultaneously, Gabriella began SPPH’s Master of Public Health (MPH) Distributed Learning program, which gave her the opportunity to study while continuing to obtain work experience from her job.
“I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the Distributed Learning cohort. The class size was small which provided the opportunity to really get to know my classmates. The diverse backgrounds meant there were many chances to challenge yourself and think about issues in public health in a different way.”
The MPH program similarly intrigued Gabriella because it allowed her to complete a practicum at home in Alert Bay, BC. She led a community-wide survey that addressed satisfaction rates of all health service delivery areas and could be integrated into the community’s 5-year strategic plans.
“Completing my practicum in a different area than that which I currently work gave me a chance to further develop some of the skills I gained through SPPH.”
When asked what lies in Gabriella’s future, she replied, “I hope to keep working in Indigenous health. I’m keen on working on upstream, prevention efforts that place an emphasis on not only the wellness of individuals, but also families, communities and the environment.”